All On Red offers an insider's view of Liverpool during their golden era

New in Football Books

All on Red: Ten Years at Anfield - A Liverpool fan's dream job

At first glance, All On Red might seem like just another offering from a football fan who fancies himself as a writer but Frank Gamble’s take on life as a Liverpool supporter comes from a slightly different perspective.

For a decade from 1979, Gamble was a particularly privileged fan, mixing work and pleasure as lottery sales manager of the club’s Development Association.

It was a decade in which Liverpool won six League titles, two European Cups, four League Cups and one FA Cup.  For Gamble, the experience of being behind the scenes at this time was unforgettable.  There were plenty of fans who shared his love for the club but few who had been asked to share their opinions with Joe Fagan, Bob Paisley and Roy Evans in the famous 'boot room'.

That happened to Gamble after one big European night at Anfield when, searching for his boss, commercial director Ken Addison, he stumbled across the club’s football brains trust in the middle of their customary post-match debriefing and found himself almost struck dumb when Fagan, then the manager, asked for his thoughts on the game.

“Joe Fagan was the nicest man I ever met in football by a country mile,” Gamble wrote. “His achievements in his first season replacing Bob (Paisley) have never received the acclaim they truly deserve.”

But All on Red, as an account of the Liverpool Gamble knew, is not without criticism.  He felt the club wasted the commercial opportunities presented by their success on the field, accusing chairman John Smith of being obsessed with cost-cutting when he should have been investing and of stifling Addison‘s creative flair by rejecting his ideas.

Manchester United 'light years ahead'

“These were the days and times that Liverpool should have pushed the pedal to the floor in terms of pulling away from our rivals commercially but certain people just couldn’t see the bigger picture and golden opportunities were missed,” he wrote.

By comparison, Manchester United were “light years ahead even then -- in February 1983.”

“We have been playing catch-up to this day and although commercial revenues have grown immensely in recent years we were slow out of the blocks and it cost us.”

Gamble, who now works in the energy sector, left Anfield in 2009 and went into print with All on Red only then.

He also gives an insider’s take on the Heysel tragedy, which he attributes in part to the atmosphere in Britain at the time, recalling a year of unrest at football grounds in the lead-up to the fateful night in Belgium that reflected the “angry society” that he felt existed in the country.

Gamble says he wrote the book to demonstrate how it felt to be a fan whose passion for a club became his livelihood and as such he has produced a supporter’s story that, for once, is unique.

All On Red: Ten Years at Anfield - A Liverpool fan's dream job, by Frank Gamble, is published by the excellent Cheltenham-based publisher, Sports Books.

Buy All on Red direct from amazon.co.uk

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